Hello, all. So, I am a prospective medical physics graduate student for the fall of 2015 and I have been accepted into two of my top four choices: The 2 year M.S. program in Medical Physics at Columbia and the four year DMP (Professional Doctorate of Medical Physics) program at Vanderbilt. Both programs would require massive student loans and both would be extremely expensive. Also, from everything I can gather, both programs have stellar reputations.
To those of you familiar with the medical physics field and with the prospects of the somewhat uncommon DMP degree in particular, do you think the guaranteed residency is worth taking out loans for an extra two years? What would an M.S. graduate from Columbia's program do with his/her life if he/she didn't get into a residency program? Are there "junior" medical physicist jobs available for such unfortunate souls? etc, etc. Any information from people currently in the field would be greatly appreciated.
One additional concern I have is that I will be turning 30 this coming summer. I need to get my career going. The biggest thing that worries me about the DMP is the extra two years and having to go even further into debt for a residency experience that I would be paid for elsewhere. The biggest thing that worries me about the Master's program is that admission into medical physics residencies is absurdly competitive, and without a CAMPEP accredited residency, one can not become a board certified medical physicist.
Thanks in advance.